For pro-gambling lawmakers, getting legislative approval this session for a referendum on the issue may be an uphill battle.
The idea of a referendum to decide whether to legalize gambling gained currency after Senate President Robert Bunda , D-Wahiawa-Waialua-Sunset Beach, backed Gov. Cayetano’s proposal in his opening-day address to the Legislature. A couple of bills in the Senate and the House seek an advisory referendum on gambling.
Initial signs seem to indicate the fate of gambling bills. Senate Bill 2029, calling for a constitutional amendment prohibiting the legalization of gambling, already has a majority of 14 supporting signatures from the 25-member Senate. Further, an informal e-mail poll of the Republican representatives conducted by Pacific Business News showed that all nine respondents were opposed to a referendum.
Outside of the state Capitol, a growing faction of local businesses have begun to voice their opposition to gambling.…